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Family Lunch Spots in MB

May 28, 2014 05:28PM ● By Jeanne Fratello
Headed out to lunch with the family in Manhattan Beach? We've got you covered for a tasty, no-stress affair at these top destinations that will keep both kids and adults happy.

Fishbar - Fishbar has the best fish in town, hands down, and your kids will be just as happy as the adults at this boisterous and busy restaurant. Kids can choose from classics like fish tacos and fish 'n' chips, or they can go more adventurous on the main menu (there's a very extensive gluten-free menu as well). While you're waiting for your food, you can watch sports on one of the many TVs while eating fresh hot sourdough bread. Kid tip: Head over to the end of the restaurant near the restrooms to watch the live lobsters swimming in the tank.

Islands - This cozy restaurant sits just at the edge of Manhattan Village Mall and offers both inside and heated outdoor seating. The noise level is boisterously happy; choose from one of many booths and you'll feel like you're right at home. Kids get their own menus with puzzles and crayons; adults have a large selection of beers, burgers, and salads. Insider tip: The burgers come with an "endless side" of fries.

The Kettle - This bustling open-24-hours restaurant sits at the very heart of downtown Manhattan Beach, at the intersection of Highland Ave. and Manhattan Beach Blvd. Choose from indoor and outdoor seating; the menu covers a wide range of breakfast foods, sandwiches, salads, and burgers. A special section of the menu caters to "Under 9 & Over 90," but your kids will probably find plenty to love on the regular menu as well.

Mama D's Italian Kitchen - This "neighborhood Italian kitchen" is a Manhattan Beach family favorite.  A full selection of Italian classics aims to please just about everyone in the family. If there's a wait to get in, kids can color in special small seats outside, and you'll often find a server outside handing out samples of buttery garlic bread. Bonus for kids: After the meal, you'll get to pick a toy from the "treasure chest."

Ocean View Café - The name says it all at Ocean View Cafe, where you can sit outdoors and look at - what else? - the clear blue sea. This small, scenic cafe is on a walk street just off Highland Ave. with European-style cafe and umbrella tables and a large flowering bougainvillea. The menu features traditional breakfast and lunch foods with a Mediterranean flavor; a kids' menu offers simple fare like peanut butter and jelly. How can you go wrong with a view like this?

Old Venice - Greek & Italian Cuisine - This Manhattan Beach icon sits right on Highland Ave. just steps from the beach, and the Greek/Italian menu is a perfect fit for the seaside location. Kids can order from the "Lil' Kids Kitchen" menu that offers traditional options like pizza and fun choices like meatball parmigiana. Kids young and old will be entertained by the colorful murals throughout the restaurant.

Pitfire Artisan Pizza - This modern/rustic pizza joint is comfortable enough to keep kids happy and upscale enough to impress the adults. The locally sourced menu varies by season, so each time you come in you'll be greeted with a new round of options. Kids can get kid-sized pizzas, mini mac & cheese, as well as organic soft-serve ice cream. Plus, they'll be entertained watching all of the activity in the wood-burning pizza ovens in the open kitchen.

Pancho's - Whether you're bringing a big crowd or just a party of two, you'll find a spot just right for you at Pancho's Mexican restaurant in El Porto. Inside, the decor is reminiscent of a hacienda in Old Mexico, with an extensive collection of Spanish and Mexican antiques and artifacts. On the menu you can be as adventurous as you like, with either traditional tacos, quesadillas, and enchiladas; or with classic Mexican house specialties. The restaurant's valet parking makes getting in and out easy for the lunch and dinner crowds.

Uncle Bill's Pancake House - Pancakes are only the beginning of the story at this Manhattan Beach institution, famous for its breakfast, brunch, and lunch options. Sure, you may want to stick with the classics, but you'll be equally tempted by the sourdough sandwiches, patty melts, and burgers. There's also a separate list of offerings for kids. Note that on weekends and holidays you'll be in for a long wait for the indoor and outdoor seating, but while you wait you can catch some ocean views and fresh breezes coming up 13th Street.

Wahoo's Fish Taco - This easy-in, easy-out fish taco place is a surfers' paradise and kids will have a great time too. In fact, if you come in with sand on your feet, you won't be the first one. Order your food at the counter, take a seat, and then check out extreme sports on the TV or admire all of the surfing paraphernalia while you wait for your food. Kids will love the tacos, burritos, and quesadillas, and there are quite a few kid-specific options on the menu if you're looking for smaller portions.

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